Teen Titans #17 Review

Reviewer: Mathan “I dig time travel” Erhardt
Story title: Tomorrow Titans Part One: Big Brothers and Sisters

Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled by: Mike McKone
Inked by: Mario Alquiza
Colored by: Jeremy Cox
Lettered by: Comicraft
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Published by: DC Comics

So when we last saw the Titans, they were hurtling through time after their team up with the Legion in Teen Titans/Legion special.

This issue begins ten years from the present. We find ourselves in Gotham at a decrepit Wayne Enterprises. There Commissioner Montoya is getting some help from Jim Gordon on a case. Apparently the Joker’s Daughter, Duela Dent is on a crime spree.

She and Batman engage in battle, and he tosses her off the roof. She manages to save herself, and the battle continues inside. She mentions how “Timmy” was “more fun when he was a kid.” She also mentions killing Alfred, another set of Titans, and an ex-girlfriend, but Tim gets tired of hearing her talk and shoots her, in the head, with a gun.

Then we find the current Titans, who find themselves ten years from their present. They encounter an altered Titans Tower; complete with a hall of mentors that features statues of Max Mercury, Ares, and Lex Luthor. It’s then that they come face to face with their future selves. Superman, the future Superboy, uses his TK to expel the young Titans from the tower.

The Flash, the future Kid Flash tries to explain who the younger counterparts are, but the teams are more content to battle. All of the older Titans exhibit abilities beyond that of their younger selves. Finally Lorena, of Aquaman fame, reveals that the Titans are fighting their younger selves.

They have a meeting to decide what actions to take. All of the future Titans defer to Batman for a plan of action. He decides that the Titans should remain sequestered in the Tower, so as not to learn too much about their future.

Superboy and Robin have a talk about their future and Robin reiterates that he doesn’t want to be Batman, and furthermore can’t understand why he “became” Batman. Superboy decides to talk to his future self about dealing with Superman/Lex Luthor heritage. As he tries to find himself, he makes a couple startling discoveries; a Speedy who’s no Cissie, and that the future Titans are torturing Deathstroke for information about “Victor and the others.”

Ah the joys of Time Travel. This story takes place both before and after Identity Crisis, and Johns make the most of it. This is a perfect beginning chapter. We get to see glimpses of the future (Gotham, the tower, Titans new powers and members) and see familiar things with subtle changes. Johns also hints at other things, with references to Titans from a bygone era. Some of the personality changes make sense, but others leave you clamoring for more. Like; why is Bart wearing the outfit of the Flash’s (Barry and Wally) worst tormentor? Johns is at the top of his form.

McKone and Alquiza make things look pretty. Their art perfectly matches the stellar story work. Batman’s brutality with Duela Dent is very interesting to watch. And the menacing poses of the future Titans when they meet the younger ones are equally impressive. That last page shocker is just great.